Duensing hopes to end slide against AL Central-leading Tigers

Brian Duensing tries to put the brakes on a five-start game set with the Detroit Tigers at Target Field.

Duensing's most recent loss was his worst, as the Baltimore Orioles battered him for seven runs and nine hits in just two innings on Tuesday. It was the left-hander's sixth loss in seven starts and dropped him to 8-13 on the year to go along with a 5.12 ERA.

"I've done a lot," Duensing said. "We tried some fixing my hand slot, the front-side stuff and slowing things down. We've done a lot to try and fix and find it, but I haven't really done it yet, obviously. I'll have to try to grind it out and find a way to go deep into a game."

Duensing gave up seven runs in a loss to the Tigers back on July 22 and is 1-3 in 15 games (six starts) against them with a 4.83 ERA.

Detroit will counter with righty Brad Penny, who is 9-9 with a 4.82 ERA. Penny won his second straight decision on Tuesday with a terrific effort against Tampa Bay that saw him allow just a run and eight hits in six innings.

Penny has faced the Twins six times and is 2-1 with a 5.45 ERA.

On Saturday, Justin Verlander became the first pitcher to reach 20 wins this season, while Delmon Young hit the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning, helping Detroit to a 6-4 win.

Verlander (20-5) didn't put together a classic outing, giving up eight hits and four runs over six-plus innings. He fanned six and walked three to earn his eighth consecutive victory.

The 28-year-old hit the 20-win mark for the first time in his career despite posting his shortest outing since July 15 and by allowing the most runs in one start since he served up four to the White Sox on July 26.

"Yes it feels great..what a team win," Verlander said. "In all we go through during the season there's been times I've picked these guys up, there's been times they picked me up. When you get to 20 at this point in the season, obviously you can't do it on your own. Today was just another example of that."

Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in a pair of runs, and Alex Avila posted a solo shot for the Tigers, who have won three in a row and eight of their last nine.

Luke Hughes hit a solo blast and drove in three. Jason Repko also connected for a solo homer for the Twins, who dropped their seventh straight.

"We played a good ballgame out there today. They got between us and a win with that burst at the end," Hughes lamented. "We put some runs on the board, four against Verlander is good but not good enough in the end."

Carl Pavano (6-11) was touched for nine hits and six runs -- five earned -- in 6 2/3 frames.

The Tigers have dominated the Twins this season, going 11-3 against them, including wins in seven of the eight matchups in Minnesota.